INTERVIEW WITH SANJEEV UNIYAL, ADVOCATE AT THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA & SENIOR PANEL COUNSEL FOR UOI
Request you to introduce yourself to our readers?
I am Sanjeev Uniyal, Advocate at the Supreme Court of India and Senior Panel Counsel for the Union of India. I also serve as the Govt Counsel for South Delhi Municipal Corporation at the Delhi High Court and an additional standing counsel in the Rohini Court. Apart from this, I am a national TV panelist for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
What interested you in taking up Law as a profession?
I believe that Law is a dynamic profession and gives ample learning opportunities to an individual to explore and understand the nuances of the society. It also gives the chance of community services along with the practice of law.
How was your law school life?
My law school was good and fruitful. I contested elections in DU and served as a member of the executive committee of Moot Court Society and passed out with first division in LLB and LLM.
What were the activities and internships you pursued in college?
The prominent activities that I did in college included services in Legal Aid Clinic, court visits and internships in firms and district courts.
Please walk us through your professional life after graduation.
I had a keen interest in the legal field from a young age, so it acted as a catalyst when I stepped into the practical arena i.e. the courts. In the beginning, you need to be battle hardened for ensuring a smooth path later on in your life. Today, I am running a law firm by the name of Uniyal and Associates and practicing successfully in the Supreme Court, High court and also as an additional standing counsel in the Rohini Court.
How do you describe your year-long litigation experience?
As I mentioned earlier, hard work and perseverance does wonders. This journey has been a beautiful one, establishing an equilibrium at the end after enjoying many highs and lows. Today also every new task poses a new challenge and all such endeavours make you evolve more and more as a lawyer as well as a human. Our firm dispenses services at various civil and criminal matters, rent control, consumer forum, labour and matrimonial matters along with arbitration proceedings. Besides practicing in the Supreme Court, High Court and various District courts, I got the chance to be a part of state commissions, appear before various tribunals and consumer forums.
How much significance does CGPA hold concerning practicing in court, going for corporate, and going for judicial services?
Marks hold a significant value in the beginning of one’s career. What matters is your plan and that you start preparing for your goal as soon as possible. If you are going for judicial services, your preparation matters. If you want to go into the corporate world, then you must have command on relevant laws. If your interest is in litigation, then you must have knowledge of the courtroom procedure, a strong hold on relevant laws and so forth.
How does the current COVID-19 situation affect your practice?
It is undeniable that Covid-19 has reduced the core litigation to a great extent. Only urgent matters are being taken up due to restricted functioning of the courts and hearings are being conducted through video conferencing.
What are your comments on “virtual courts- courtroom of the future?”
Virtual courtrooms are the future and can act as a good supplement to the physical courtrooms. But it can't replace the physical courtrooms entirely. And for this to be successfully implemented in India, it will take a long time, desire of all the stakeholders to bring about changes in traditional court system and the way hearings are conducted, and the flexibility of judges, lawyers, police personnel, litigating parties etc. to hold their respective proceedings online.